The ability of the earth to support a load is called
its soil-bearing capacity.
This varies considerably
with different types of soil. A soil of a given bearing
capacity bears a heavier load on a wide foundation or
footing than on a narrow one.
VERTICAL STRUCTURAL MEMBERS
In heavy construction, vertical structural
members are high-strength columns. (In large
buildings, these arc called pillars.) Outside wall
columns and inside bottom-floor columns usually rest
directly on footings. Outside wall columns usually
extend from the footing or foundation to the roof line.
Inside bottom-floor columns extend upward from
footings or foundations to the horizontal members,
which, in turn, support the first floor or roof, as shown
in figure 2-2.
Upper floor columns are usually
located directly over lower floor columns.
In building construction, a pier, sometimes called
a short column, rests either directly on a footing, as
shown in the lower center of figure 2-3, or is simply
set or driven into the ground. Building piers usually
support the lowermost horizontal structural members.
Figure 2-3.Exploded view of a typical light-frame house.